British royal Prince Charles meets climate activist Greta Thunberg

U.S. President Donald Trump flashes a thumbs-up as he arrives at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland Wednesday Jan. 22 2020. The 50th annual meeting of the forum is taking place in Davos from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24 2020. Right is Executive C

U.S. President Donald Trump flashes a thumbs-up as he arrives at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland Wednesday Jan. 22 2020. The 50th annual meeting of the forum is taking place in Davos from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24 2020. Right is Executive C

The Prince of Wales has demanded greater subsidies for green industries and more punitive taxes on pollution, in a bid to slash carbon emissions and re-engineer swathes of the economy.

During a press conference at the WEF this morning, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was asked for his thoughts on Thunberg's calls for divestment from fossil fuel companies, to which he reportedly joked: "Is she the chief economist?"

The ongoing row between the teenage activist and 73-year-old US President around climate change appeared an attempt by both to frame the argument at Davos. This is a time for optimism.

"To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse" Trump said.

He added: "I did not want to be accused by them of doing nothing except prevaricating and denying the problem".

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"We have a attractive ocean called the Pacific Ocean where thousands of tonnes of garbage flows towards us, put there by other countries, so Greta needs to work on them", he added. They predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the 70s, and an end of oil in the 1990s. "We have to do something about other continents, we have to do something about other countries". "I want clean air; I want clean water".

Mnuchin insisted that US policy has been misinterpreted, and that Trump "absolutely believes" in a clean environment.

"He then gave a speech saying that the European Union needed to have more power, the power to tax and power to limit Carbon dioxide emissions because the North Pole would have disappeared within seven years".

This is a very different tone than Trump struck during his controversial decision to withdraw from the worldwide Paris Climate Accord, which he also criticized as being a ploy to drain jobs and money from Americans. "Now of course, they are accusing us of exactly that".

"Eleven months for a free trade agreement is really very short if we look at other free trade agreements, but the European Union is ready to do all in our power to have the best possible relation with the United Kingdom", he said.

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